SCoPE Seminar: Informal Learning: May 15 - June 4, 2006

Informal learning in the poorest third of the world

Re: informal learning and universal primary learning

by Nancy Riffer -
Number of replies: 0

Sugata Mitra writes for eGov monitor about how lack of schools does not have to mean no learning and no education, and shows us a different way in bringing internet, thus information, to disadvantaged children in India

   This article describes research that was done in rural areas of India to determine whether giving young children access to computers in playgrounds and other public spaces and allowing them to use the computers without teacher participation might be a way to bring meaningful, quality education to underserved areas in India.
   The children learned almost immediately how to use the machines and some were browsing within an hour.  They taught each other.  The specially designed computers that were weather "proof" and protected from theft were mastered by children playing on them.  There was one computer for every 200 children.
   Girls and boys learned to use the computers.  Use by girls was related to the safety of the public spaces in which they were placed.  In the schools that had computers, the children were resistant to learning the computer -- what's the catch?  On their own, they learned rapidly and without hesitation.
   Author concludes this use of computers may be a way to rapidly develop learning in rural areas of developing countries.